I’ve been thinking about Nicaragua. I mean, of course I’ve thought about my trip and the events and people thereof many times in the last six months but lately, here in the past few days, even more so.
I don’t know why exactly. Maybe it’s the House Hunter’s International episodes I’ve watched featuring grand and beautiful Nicaraguan vacation homes, homes a far cry from the dirt floor, cement block homes I saw. Or the homes made of black plastic and sticks. Or the trash that littered the barrios we visited.
Though I know that poverty reaches far beyond the Nicaraguan barrio, I can’t help but consider the widowed mother of three boys living in deplorable and desperate circumstances, such as I could have never imagined prior to seeing it for myself. Two of her boys are disabled and yet she professes hope in Christ. My faith seems so shallow to me, so easily swayed by the silly and the meaningless. Even now, as I type, I am preparing to go to our book club meeting and discuss Contentment of all things. What do I know of true contentment? I am embarrassed and ashamed by my fickle joy.
No doubt Nicaragua occupies my thoughts because my husband will be a part of team going in a couple of weeks. Also going for the first time will be my dear friend and her daughter. As I talk to them I am curiously sad and even a little envious. It is curious to me because, if I am honest, when I came home in February I didn’t think I’d want to return. It wasn’t that my experience was a bad one, quite the opposite really. It was good. Profound. Inexplicably so. All making my resulting passivity, even reluctance, equally inexplicable.
As I think of our trip, it is the faces I see, the women we were privileged to serve. I wonder about Stella, heartbroken over her daughter’s rebellion, expecting another daughter, a baby who has certainly arrived by now. I see the formerly abused wife struggling to believe her husband’s conversion authentic. Mostly, I remember the crowded classroom, the open Bibles, the eagerness to learn, to ask, to seek. I hear myself pleading through our translator Maricela for the women to know the Lord, to study His Word, to live for Christ, to love Him supremely and wholly.
My heart winces a little as I reflect on my fervent appeal. Who am I? Surely I am the least among these, my faith not quite so zealous these days. I am humbled as I remember their grateful response. Me with so much, they with so little, all of us rich in Christ because of His generous grace He lavishes on those who seek Him in repentant, desperate faith.
“Do not forget us,” they whispered to me in Spanish (Maricela translating) on our last night in Nuevo Guinea, as they kissed my cheek and gripped my hand. “Remember us.”
I do not forget. I do remember. Indeed, how can I not?